Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has criticised Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s refusal to participate in tripartite talks between the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the European Union on the border issue.
Mr Nicholson warned that along with Michel Barnier, the Taoiseach is playing a “reckless” high stakes game with the United Kingdom.
Mr Nicholson said:
“Leo Varadkar’s dismissal of Theresa May’s offer of talks between the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the European Union on the issue of the UK’s border with the Republic is irresponsible at the very least.
“It seems to me that the Taoiseach and Michel Barnier are playing a high stakes game with the United Kingdom. It is not entirely clear who exactly is pulling the strings here, but to use the people of Northern Ireland as some kind of pawn in these negotiations is reckless.
“As the Prime Minister rightly pointed out, it would be wrong for the UK to abdicate responsibility and insist on the EU alone finding a solution, and it is equally wrong to insist it should be left to the UK to solve. At the end of the day all sides - not least the Republic of Ireland - need a solution that is reasonable, maintains a frictionless border and upholds the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom and the Belfast Agreement. Let us do that by working together.”